Tom Keighley

Member Article

Government refuses to reconsider Thameslink Contract

The transport secretary has refused to rethink the government’s recent Thameslink contract decision.

The controversial decision to award the £1.4bn contract to Siemens instead of Bombardier has resulted in 1,400 redundancies at the firm’s Derby factory.

While Siemens announced 2000 UK jobs as a result, the majority of production will be based in Germany.

The train manufacturer will only employ 300 individuals directly, who will be located at its North East plant at Hebburn.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union previously said workers were being “fobbed off” with a small number of component jobs.

New research released this week from Survation indicates a widespread impact on the manufacturing supply-chain in the UK.

125 companies that supply Siemens and/or Bombardier were asked about the potential impact of the Thameslink contract news on their business, on the basis that production would be predominantly based in Germany.

Results showed that there will be a significant impact on jobs and growth nationally, especially in the SME community.

Damian Lyons Lowe, CEO of Survation said: “Our previous survey work relating to Bombardier looked at the striking local political impact in Derby of the government decision to award preferred bidder status to Siemens over Bombardier with its main manufacturing plant in Derby.

24% of companies interviewed in the survey, thought the shortfall in business from the Derby Bombardier plant would not be supplemented by orders from Siemens.

The prospect of job losses was also highlighted as 40.59% planned to make redundancies, and some interviewed had already done so.

In the North East, one Durham firm, who wished to remain anonymous, is worried it may have to make up to 20 redundancies in the wake of this news.

Survation’s report made reference to the delay in tendering for the Crossrail project, which it suggested would further contribute to the poor employment prospects.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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